I am a traffic ticket attorney. That has been my chosen profession for more than 15 years, and I will defend drivers for any type of traffic citation although there are some laws that I agree with such as not texting while driving. Even though this is a secondary offense, someone who gets one of the traffic tickets is still entitled to a good defense. Then there are those laws that I just think are for the most part, well, stupid. Driving with a suspended license (DWSL) falls into that category. Granted, there are a select few drivers who probably should have their licenses suspended because they habitually put other drivers at risk. I don’t, however, think that is the case with the average person who has a suspended license. Sometimes life just happens, and I think that is the case for most people who have a suspended license. Unfortunately for some, the issuance of a driver’s license is considered a privilege and one that the State of Florida can revoke at any time. There are many reasons that someone’s license can be suspended and here are some of the most common causes.
If you get a traffic ticket for any traffic violation and forget about it, don’t pay it within the 30-day time frame allowed by the State of Florida, your license will be suspended. Sometimes you may not even know that you have been issued a citation. This can happen with red light traffic camera tickets. If you have moved and neglected to update your address with the state, you may never get the citation mailed to you correctly. There is another flaw with this process. Red light camera tickets are issued to the first registered owner on a vehicle. If you have moved and this type of citation is issued to your former address, you may find yourself driving on a suspended license when you weren’t even who was driving when the red light camera caught your license plate number.
Another issue that can result in a suspended license is not maintaining insurance on your vehicle. Insurance companies are required to report to the state whenever someone cancels their insurance or has a lapse in coverage for any reason. Just neglecting to renew your insurance can end up with you unwittingly driving around with a suspended license.
It may be very unpopular with many Florida drivers, but failing to pay, or even being behind in child support payments, can also result in ending up with a suspended driver’s license. Even worse, not only will your license be suspended, but you can end up in jail for failing to adhere to your child support order. Other instances of financial irresponsibility are also grounds for a driver’s license suspension. If you have outstanding court costs for a traffic ticket, you can kiss your license goodbye because your license will immediately be suspended. No questions asked. Have a civil or criminal judgment entered against you? Adios, driver’s license. Have a car accident without insurance or while underinsured? Adieu, driver’s license. You will be held responsible for the accident amount, regardless of what your limits of insurance coverage may have been at the time of the accident. You will not have an active driver’s license again until that debt is nullified. The one obvious motive for the State of Florida suspending someone’s driver’s license is for having too many points on your license. We always tell you NOT to ever pay a ticket without consulting with the Traffic Ticket Team first, and this is one reason why. If you get 12 points on your license within a 12-month period, your license will be suspended for 30 days; 18 points within an 18-month period and you will find yourself with a 3 month suspension; 24 points in 36 months and you can forget about driving for an entire year. After your third time of having a suspended license, you are classified as a habitual traffic offender. You can go to jail and lose your license for as much as five years. Once this happens, it becomes very difficult to get your license back because the court views you as someone with little or no regard for traffic laws. This all may sound rather extreme, but points can add up quickly just by committing a couple of infractions.
There are several factors that influence defending a driving with a suspended license traffic violation. One very important factor is that Florida makes a distinction as to whether or not the driver was operating with or without knowledge that his license was suspended. If you are aware that your driver’s license is suspended, seeing a cop’s lights in your rearview mirror can be especially scary because you know you are probably going to jail. Regardless of whether or not you are aware that your driver’s license is suspended, if you get pulled over and the cop asks you if you know that your driver’s license is suspended the answer is always, “No, sir.” I recommend that you do not knowingly driving on a suspended license, but if you do and get pulled over, remember that the cop is going to start building a case against you as soon as he pulls you. If you do admit you knowingly were driving on a suspended license, you will be taken to jail, so never admit to doing so and call a good traffic ticket attorney. An admission of guilt such as this just seals the case for the prosecution.
Even though it often seems as though most Florida traffic laws are slanted against drivers, there are protections written into federal laws that traffic ticket attorneys use to defend their clients. One such law is that police officers have to have a “reasonable and articulable” purpose in making the traffic stop. He or she must be able to present definitive facts upon which to base a case against you in court.
Let’s not forget all those administrative errors that we can count on! We all know that the Department of Motor Vehicles can be extraordinarily inept. Finding those errors is one of the best tools available to a good traffic ticket attorney.
Even if you suspect that your license may be suspended, it is best to resolve any issues that may have a bearing on the status of your license since driving with a suspended license can become a serious criminal matter. With or without knowledge of driving with a suspended license, the Traffic Ticket Team can not only fight the ticket for you, but also aid in helping you to get your driver’s license reinstated. Many times, we can do so just by you making a phone call to our office, so give us a call at 954-967-9888 for a free consultation for any type of traffic citation. Most of the time, it will cost you much less to have us fight your traffic ticket for you than it will for you to deal with it on your own.